an Australian, tailless, tree-dwelling animal that is the only species (Phascolarctos cinereus) of a family (Phascolarticidae) of marsupials with thick, gray fur, sharp claws, and large, tufted ears: it resembles a small bear and feeds exclusively on eucalyptus leaves and buds
< kūlla, native name in Australia
See koala in American Heritage Dictionary 4
An arboreal Australian marsupial (Phascolarctos cinereus) that has dense grayish fur, large ears, and sharp claws and feeds chiefly on the leaves of eucalyptus trees.
Origin: Probably from misreading of earlier coola, koolah